Welcome to Casablanca!
and the Hassan II Mosque
Built in the mid 90's its construction cost over $500 million
Home to the world's tallest minaret
Ryan posing for a photo
Beautiful tile work designed by over 6000 Moroccan artisans
Apparently it was constructed on a Casa slum and the previous inhabitants were booted out with no compensation.
Karolina exploring the ornate tile work
It can hold over 25,000 worshipers and is said that the prayer hall can house the Notre Dame or St. Peter's comfortably.
Every piece of the mosque has some type of decoration
A Moroccan going to prayer
The mosque is fitted out with a heated floor, electric doors and a retractable roof like a soccer stadium!
Relaxin in the sun
The best sight in Casablanca, sorry Bogart...
Entrance to the medina
how do you say Big Mac in Arabic?
At least the logos are recognizable
heading out for the train
Rabat train station
Rabat, capital of Morocco and the most French "feeling" city
Cemetery near the beach
Every grave is facing Mecca
Nice location on the beach
Exploring the colorful Kasbah
Portuguese influence is responsible for the blue and white color
Was inhabited by soldiers, now families.
Soldier lookout point?
Overlooking the beach and surfers riding the waves
The Moroccan surf club, founding member is the current king. Shaka Mohammed!
Surfer babe checkin the break
Whatchu lookin at foo!
Knock knock, can I get some tajine please?
Hand of Fatima
rockin the Kasbah
Rabat medina, shops, restaurants and all sorts of goodies.
Mausoleum of Mohammed V and Hassan II, the previous kings
Another example of the amazing Moroccan artistry
Guarding the entrance
Mohammed V is responsible for liberating Morocco from France
Ornate ceiling decked out in gold
Water fountains outside
Ryan fits right in with the locals
Karolina posing by some decorative thing
Nice lookin crypt
The incomplete minaret in the background
Karolina stopping to catch a few rays
What a dork!
Moroccan buddies on the train to Fes that gave Ryan an awesome hat as a present
Fes, the cultural capital
Wall surrounding the medina
Cous cous for lunch
Bab Bou Jeloud gate to Fes El-Bali medina
Interior of the Medersa, said to be one of the finest theological colleges constructed by the Merenids.
Constructed in 1350 by the Merenid sultan
Detail of the tiles
Donkeys cruise the medina completely unescorted and if you aren't watching they will ram right into you.
One of the 350 mosques inside the medina
One of the many beautiful Moroccan doors
The famous tannery of Fes
Can't you just smell the animal excrement? yum
Different dyes for the leather
Our faithful guide doesn't let us miss one detail of the leather making process.
Wouldn't it be a shame if he got his white shoes dirty?
Some of the exotic ingredients are pigeon poo, cow urine, fish oils, animal brains and acids.
That sure is a lot of skin
These Moroccan leather making techniques have not changed since the Medieval times.
Karolina checkin out the final product
Yep, that pigeon poo sure brings out the soft texture!
Babouches, Ryan got a pair and the leather is like butter!
Wonder if TV is important to Moroccans?
Woman and her donkey
The Royal Palace
Dinner of Cous Cous and Tajine with prunes
Somewhere in the Atlas mountains
Crossing the High Atlas en route to the Sahara desert.
Two Arabs in the desert
Part Arab - part blues brother?
Searching for a lake oasis somewhere in the desert with our buddies
French/German couple that we spent a few days trekking through the desert with.
the lone ranger
the road to nowhere
wow an exotic bush, maybe a talking bush?
What are those in the distance?
Hmm, we better approach cautiously
A stinky, friendly camel
Feeding our new friend
Our Berber guide somehow knew the way through the never ending orange abyss
Hottest camel jockey in the desert
Took two hours to reach our camp, not so pleasant on the back of a camel.
This donkey was actually kinda perverted
Off to climb some dunes
It's crazy how huge these mountains of sand really are
Overlooking our camp
You can see Algeria from here
Another desert beauty
Ryan on the peak of a dune
The Arab conquerors
sunset over the Sahara
Karolina doing her best hummingbird impression
Learning the Berber drums
Waking up for sunrise is not an easy task!
Karolina with her new boyfriend
Setting up breakfast, Berber style
Back on the camel for a two hour trek back to the village.
Happy we made it
The beautiful chicken bus that we rode on for 13 hours ! Not fun
Hundreds of flags marked the roadway for the kings arrival. (they heard Ryan was a king)
Much needed after a few days in the desert
Karolina was brave enough to take the boat across
Our own private swimming pool
One of Karolina's relatives came to visit us.
Fashion shoot by the falls
Hiking along the river
Woaa don't fall
Looking over the valley below
Caves near the river
Ryan climbing the Atlas Mtns
and taking a dip in the river
Getting a closer look of the water shoot
A pack of hundreds of mountain goats came running down the steep cliffs about 10 feet from us.
At least they were friendly little goats
Karolina relaxing by the river
The dried fruit stalls in the Djemma el-Fna
Our Aussie buddy Simon with Ryan
Number 23 had THE best OJ
yumm only 3 dirhams (about 30 cents)
Reading about the Koutoubia mosque
The minaret (tower) is over 70 meters tall and can be seen for miles around
Back in the souks
Shopping and haggling for goodies
The famous Moroccan pottery
The souk at night turns into one big restaurant where you can eat all sorts of yummy treats like snails or sheep heads.
These calendars are everywhere in Morocco
It must take some patience to set this up every day
This guy didn't think Ryan had what it took to charm a snake, psshhhh
Water vendor mixed in with all the tourists
and thats all folks!